Desert Southwest Adventure: Day 8

We decided to start our second full day in Flagstaff with a hardy breakfast at Mary’s Cafe, a fixture on Route 66 since 1961. As we’ve come to expect from these old-time roadside diners, the food was great, the service was better, and the coffee kept flowing. After a brief return to Cloud 9 to…

Desert Southwest Adventure: Day 7

Having left Joshua Tree National Park to bake in the triple-digits, we decided to explore Walnut Canyon National Monument, 10 miles east of Flagstaff. The 20-mile long, 400-foot-deep canyon is home to hundreds of cliff dwellings built in shallow caves between 1125 and 1250 by the Sinagua people. Sinagua is a Spanish word for “without…

Desert Southwest Adventure: Day 6

In an attempt to escape the searing southwest heat, we headed north to Flagstaff, postponing our visit to Joshua Tree National Park for another time. When we planned this trip earlier this year, we started by checking the average daily temperatures for September at each park. We could not have anticipated the record heat at…

Desert Southwest Adventure: Day 5

Before setting off for Saguaro National Park, we shared our concerns about the rapid rise in the outside temperature. By 10 a.m., it was already 90 degrees and climbing. Cloud 9 was situated in a site without shade, adjacent to a concrete-block wall, meaning the air-conditioner would struggle to keep the inside temperature in the…

Desert Southwest Adventure: Day 4

Day 4 was a travel day, as we made our way from New Mexico to Arizona and our next destination: Saguaro National Park. After a relaxing morning, we finally left town and headed farther south and west via US Highway 70 toward Las Cruces, where we merged onto Interstate 10. As we drove within 30…

Desert Southwest Adventure: Day 3

We began the day with a hardy breakfast at the Waffle & Pancake Shoppe, a 36-year-old Alamogordo institution. The Brockett-family diner specializes in great home cooking and excellent customer service. We were not disappointed! Cliff enjoyed the huevos rancheros, while Jon had a traditional bacon and egg breakfast. The hash browns were perfect! Five stars!…

Desert Southwest Adventure: Day 1

We departed on our Desert Southwest Adventure eight minutes beyond our target time of 10 a.m., a time we set to avoid the metroplex morning traffic. Despite our efforts, the first 45 minutes of driving proved daunting, as Jon white-knuckled us beyond Weatherford. We eventually settled into our 5-hour journey to the Lubbock KOA, a…

Prep Time

We spent some time this weekend preparing for our Desert Southwest adventure, which starts at the end of the week when we head to Lubbock for an overnight stay en route to our first destination, New Mexico’s White Sands National Park. From there, we’ll travel to Saguaro National Park in Arizona, and then we’ll visit…

Black Canyon, Brown Sands: Day 7

We had hoped to spend the day in Taos, but after reviewing New Mexico’s travel restrictions we decided not to go. Individuals traveling to New Mexico from states deemed high-risk based on COVID-positivity rates were required to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of their entry into New Mexico or for the duration of…

Black Canyon, Brown Sands: Day 6

The sixth day of our adventure began with the mundane tasks of responding to emails, blogging, brunching, and then heading into town for groceries and supplies. By the time we set out for Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, it was already mid-afternoon and searingly hot. At more than 750 feet, the dunes are…